Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Face in the Frame


The beautiful woman in the frame…a face I’ve loved all of my life…

Hanging in my grandmother’s home from my earliest memory, it moved into my uncle’s home at the time of her passing…

Last fall, a trip made from Arizona to Utah…the car filled with treasured possessions…

…belongings of my grandmother, which my dear uncle was bringing to my mother and me to care for…letters, wedding scrapbook, photos, and two very precious framed portraits…

A terrifying spin on the ice, and the car flipped to it’s side….uncle and aunt—frightened and scraped--but thankfully not hurt badly…precious letters on the  snowy road to be quickly gathered and saved…and a single crack in the glass on the portrait…but everyone—and every thing—safe.

This is my copy of the portrait—made while my grandmother still lived and the portrait was still hanging on her wall…I’ve loved this little copy of mine…

Brita Stina Anstrom Ostlund

Brita Stina…isn’t that a beautiful name? 

Born in Sweden in 1848…a new-found faith led her and her family—as well as the man who would one day be her husband—across the sea to America…


The family first went to a Swedish community in Minnesota, where she met and married Jonas Ostlund…they soon after crossed the wide country headed west…


 {This BEAUTIFUL vintage frame image is also found on Crafty Secrets’  soon-to-be-available new “Vintage Paper Patterns” CD…}

In their new-found home, they became shop keepers in their new community…

DSC03524_edited-1 {Lovely vintage paper pattern also courtesy of Crafty Secrets’ new “Vintage Paper Patterns” CD…topped with a bit of soft, pink seam binding tied in a double bow}

They later migrated to Canada, to help in building the canal in Alberta…

DSC03528_edited-1 {Vintage “pin” ephemera from Crafty Secrets’ soon-to-be-available “Vintage Paper Patterns” CD…covered in Glossy Accents and ringed with Platinum Stickles…looks just like a real brooch, doesn’t it?!}

Five dear children were born into this family…


…and that’s about all I know.  I want so badly to learn more…and so I am searching…


A very large pile of pages of family history—both typed and handwritten by my great-grandmother, Anna, her daughter-in-law, lie on my dining room table…unorganized, unnumbered…just waiting for me to pour over them in the hopes of finding new clues to the life of this beautiful woman…


A new page made yesterday for my heritage album…Brita Stina Anstrom Ostlund…five handmade shabby rosettes at the bottom representing her five children…one of which was my great-grandfather, Hjaldermar…

Hjaldermar Ostlund--young man_edited-1

…more stories for other days…

Later this summer, Brita’s portrait will be coming home with me…I think I’ll leave the cracked glass in place for a while…just another part of her story.

See you soon with something new…



  1. Julie ~

    What a beautiful woman in the picture! There's a bit of mystery about her expression. How intriguing! Thanks for sharing.

    Gentle hugs!

  2. LOVE the new look to your blog! ANd this story....I can see your Aunt and Uncle frantically grabbing all of their history and making sure it is OK...God Bless them! And You! You have such a wealth of information on the people who came before you! There are times I just wish I could ask each of my ancestors just one question each.....:) thank you for this post and showing these beautiful new Crafty Secrets items......Sandy

  3. You have some real treasures! Love the stories of ancestors and their sacrifices and their every day lives.
    She is a beautiful woman and I do love her name!

  4. Oh wow! what a table full of personal family history! the best kind that you want to filter through and learn all that you can. That's why I love collecting things from my own life from day to day..things with meaning, like handwritten letters and old family photos...for the generations to come!

    gorgeous blog!

    ciao bella

    Creative Carmelina

  5. Oh Julie you are such an inspiration to do family history! What treasures you have and so blessed to bring the best out of a person through your artwork! So pretty!


  6. Another heartwarming story Julie!... so happy no one was hurt when the car flipped over, and they were able to save all of the precious heirlooms!... your heritage scrapbook is incredible!... xoxo Julie Marie

  7. What a beautiful post Julie. It's amazing how a sweet face, someone you don't even know can warm your heart. Hope you're having a wonderful day.

  8. i love your pics and your blog outfit!!!!! greetings, angie

  9. Gorgeous heritage page! Love the symbolism of the five roses. You are a lucky lady to have so much of your family's history, including (soon) that beautiful portrait.

  10. what a beautiful history for you to have

  11. She is a beauty...I love how you celebrate your family's history! Her photo is so intriguing to me!

  12. julie!

    i hope that someday you write a book. it could be non-fiction or even something like a little house on the prairie about brave brita crossing the ocean and then crossing the country ...

    astounded as always by the family history that you have and know about. very very cool. and your crafts (and crafty secrets) always weave your stories and images so beautifully together.



  13. Looking at Brita's picture reminded me of going to the antique mall Saturday and seeing an oval portrait, sans the frame, just clipped to someone's booth for sale. No respect for the beloved in the picture. How sad to see these pictures taken for granted. Thank you for the inspiration. You have such a talent with Crafty Secrets elements and for writing your family's history. These are stories that should not be forgotten.

    Take care Julie!

  14. Charming to hear the story of your Brita Stina, and what a beauiful looking woman she was too. Another mystery to delve into. How very delightful!

  15. Oh, my, how I love this, Julie! I hope you will find out more about Brita! I love these tales. You are gifting us all, my friend!
    Big hugs,

  16. What a neat journey to be on to discover the past and connect it with the future! Thank you for sharing the sweet stories and Brita's picture. xxoo Heidi

  17. What a wonderful legacy Julie and again, how beautifully you have presented it to us. I love you newest piece and all of your words about Brita. How special. But then again, that never surprises me, because you are a special spirit and I love all that you choose to share with us! Enjoy having your daughter home! I am sure the time will pass by far too quickly! Love you lots and lots! xxoo

  18. Aloha Julie;
    I always enjoy reading your family stories, this is no exception. TFS
    Warm hugs to you.

  19. What wonderful family memories that you are preserving. She was indeed a beautiful woman. Enjoy going through all your letters... what treasures you have.

    Have a wonderful week, sweet friend.

  20. What a wonderful story and an incredible life she lived. I hope you find out more and if you do, i hope you may share it with us!
    Thanks for a very special post

  21. a beautiful picture
    a beautiful story
    thank you sweetie for sharing
    your wonderful heritage with us

  22. This has to be the prettiest thing I've seen on your blog yet. This frame is just stunning!! Great story to go with it.

  23. Wow Julie, You blog background looks gorgeous! And I love this story and your grandmother was so beautiful--and I love her name...The piece you made is spectacular and brooch is amazing--it looks real!!! You are SO talented, my friend!

  24. She is a beauty and I do love her name. When you get to Heaven, you will instantly know these people..what a reunion that will be! :D

  25. Dear Julie,
    she is truly beautiful ,your Swedish ancestor- it is so fantastic for me ,every time reading about someones family, coming from Sweden or Denmark or Norway- it is like we are connected over miles and time-having long time ago back in our families been "close" ,- and now being able to "meet" again--isen`t that fantastic.
    **Your card is so beautiful, and I love the sentiment in adding the 5 roses, so lovely.

  26. Brita is such a pretty young lady, gracefully poised! I think you should keep the broken glass frame a while too, after it comes to rest in your home. Sounds like you will have other treasures to unlock by sifting through all those letters! Beautiful LO, elegant touch havig her children represented with those pretty roses you made! Perfect!

  27. Julie what a wonderful story and a beautiful name. Love all you detailed touches...smiles..Renee

  28. Beautiful! You truly come from a family of historians! Going through those old handwritten and typed pages will be so interesting and wonderful. The new ephemera from Crafty Secrets is just perfect for your project. I thought that really was a broach. Have a happy day. Tammy

  29. Julie, I especially enjoyed this post. I do the family history and family tree for my husband's Swedish family. Such similar history! Maybe you and my husband are cousins. ;-) What a labor of love you are doing. Collecting the pictures and stories is truly a blessing for you and your family. You're an angel!!
    Ladybug Creek

  30. Oh, Julie!!! This is an amazing post and a beautiful project you are working on! And!...I LOVE your new background features! Thanks so much for keeping in touch! I haven't been visiting online a lot since I, too, have begun work on my ancestry files; it's so rewarding! I love what you've done with your wonderful journaling and art and ideas! A treasury of love! Thanks for sharing!
    Have a wonderful week, dear friend!